It Will Change How You Eat

Inhaling the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon buns while walking through the shopping centre can collapse the best of weight-loss intentions. I know this to be true as a coffee shop I used to run I would roast coffee beans near the entrance and use a fan to blow the smell into the walkway of oncoming passers by, so many would come in and buy coffee. On the other hand, watching a violent movie likely puts the kibosh on your appetite. In addition to these obvious appetite deterrents and stimulants, other more stealth issues can also play a role in the your weight-management efforts. Be aware of the ones that trick you into overeating and use those that work for you.


Scented candles: Your favourite scent may help you lose weight, according to Alan Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Sniffing a vanilla, banana, green apple or peppermint scented candle may trick your brain into thinking you’ve already eaten it, says Hirsch. “Smell is 90 percent of taste.” Spritz one of these fragrances on a tissue if a candle isn’t available to cut cravings.


Listening to music: If you find yourself overeating at your favourite lively restaurant, it may have more to do with the background music than the homemade blue cheese dip, according to a 2012 study published in Psychological Reports. Researchers found that softening the music in fast food restaurants resulted in an 18 percent drop in calories consumed. “When it comes to music, it so much depends on how much you like or dislike a certain piece,” says Joseph Cardillo PhD, research psychologist and author of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. “What calms one person could repulse another.” Cardillo recommends experimenting to find what works best for you. “Use songs that send the message you need to hear to channel your willpower.”


Eating off coloured plates: While the colour blue is widely known as an appetite-suppressing colour, red may work even better. A 2012 study published in the journal Appetite showed that participants drank less from the red-labeled cup than from the blue-labeled cup and ate fewer snack food from the red plate than from the blue or white plates. Researchers believe the red colour works as a subtle, subconscious “stop” signal.


Chowing down on potatoes: Potatoes get a bad rap. They’re banned from many diets because of their high carb content, yet they possess one attribute that make them a dieter’s dream: resistant starch, an appetite suppressant. Resistant starch is known as the “third type” of dietary fiber, says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, board certified specialist in sport dietetics and the Dallas Cowboys sports dietitian. “Resistant starch is found in beans, legumes, starch fruits and vegetables (like bananas), whole grains and some types of cooked-then-cooled food like potatoes and rice.” Note that the longer and hotter the starch is cooked, the less resistant starch it contains, so cold potatoes provide more resistant starch than hot. Potato salad (no mayo), anyone?


Spiking meals with vinegar: Not just for salad dressing anymore, vinegar (acetic acid) helps lower the glycemic index (reduces the blood sugar spike) after eating carbohydrate-rich foods. “Many studies show that vinegar lower the glycemic index up to 20 to 35 percent,” says Goodson. “A stable blood sugar means you feel satisfied after a meal and don’t get hungry quickly.” If a meal such as a salad lends itself to a dash of vinegar, go for it, says Goodson, but eating acetic acid containing fermented and pickled foods have the same effect. Or combine the resistant starch of cold potatoes with a vinegar dressing for double benefits.


Nibbling dark chocolate: Yes, chocolate, a major downfall of many dieters, may actually help you lose weight. The catch: it must be dark, not milk chocolate. And sorry, but you’ll have to skip the caramel filling and nuts, too. Nonetheless, it’s still chocolate. A 2011 study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes showed that participates felt more satisfied and less hungry after eating dark chocolate, rather than milk chocolate. It also lowered the desire to eat something sweet or fatty. Melt an ounce of dark chocolate and use it as a dip for fresh fruit for a healthy, appetite-suppressing snack.


Dimming the lights: Along with listening to soothing music, dimming the lights in a restaurant also resulted in people eating fewer calories, according to a study out of Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. The researchers divided half of a Hardee’s fast food restaurant into a fine dining environment, complete with soft lighting. Researchers expected the relaxing environment to entice people to eat more. Instead, although it took diners longer to eat, they ate less food than people who eat in a fast food environment. They also rated the food more enjoyable. So take your time, dim the lights and lose more weight.

Logitech AV iPad Stand

It is well known that the iPad's speaker is, well, a bit weedy. While there are a million and one low cost stands out there, if you really want to use your iPad as a movie screen, you need one that incorporates a decent speaker too.
Enter the Logitech AV Stand, a tubular stereo speaker with an arm mounted iPad holder.


The arm pivots in several places so you can pull your iPad forward and lay it almost flat, very handy if you want to key in a quick email, Tweet or long URL.


The dock unit rotates through 90 degrees, so you can quickly move your tablet from portrait mode to landscape and back again.

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The AV Stand is designed for all the iPads. Logitech has fitted a couple of plastic widgets that clip to the two supports that hold the tablet's sides, these are for the newer iPads, so if you have a first generation iPad, then just pull 'em out.
With an iPad in place, it is a little to easy to bring it so far forward, the whole lot tips forward. But I cannot see many circumstances in which you would want to pull the iPad toward you, away from the stand.
The AV Stand's main body contains a pair of side-facing 2inch speakers and a bass reflex port at the back. The output is not going to blow you away, but the sound is clear. The bass is decent, and there is a sense of space to the sound, even with mono material.
It is no Bose, but you do not expect that for 70 quid. As a £70 speaker dock, it does not sound at all bad.

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Now down to the remote. Corners have been cut with the remote, which, because it is clearly generic, will not let you navigate through the iPad's movie and music files, just change the volume and track-skip. It also flips between the iPad's screen and the composite-video port on the back of the stand.


Poor remote aside, this is a decent little unit. Download the Netflix or the BBC iPlayer app, and you will have a nice compact desktop, kitchen or bedroom TV alternative.